Real Estate Law

At McMillan Metro, our real estate attorneys are always on the cutting edge of issues and trends related to real estate throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

We have long-term relationships with real estate developers, homebuilders, and landowners, property managers, contractors, and individuals.  Our clients rely on us for our core technical expertise in deal-making, project approval, and construction, right through settlement of the finished product and beyond.  Just as importantly, they know they can trust our judgment and our deep knowledge of the Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia region. Thanks to our role in many of the area’s highest-profile projects, we can keep you on the forefront of new trends and the intricacies of the regulatory environment. In fact, several of our attorneys have drafted and shaped pieces of state legislation that affect the real estate industry. Please call us at (301) 251-1180 or submit an online inquiry so we can assist you.

Can you help me sell part, but not all, of a commercial building I own?

In an era of business downsizing, we have worked with clients who want to rescale their commercial properties without selling 100% of their interest. Establishing condominium space is one logical approach. In one instance, we created a condominium for an existing office building with units of varying sizes to sell to both existing tenants and investors. Recently, we also created a warehouse condominium, in which the owners kept a portion of the building for their business and were able to sell the remaining space.

Can I structure a deal to manage recordation and transfer taxes?

Yes. We have helped facilitate many such deals. You can count on us for innovative tactics to structure transactions and secure financing so that the parties involved can limit or avoid recordation and transfer taxes.

How do I find out if an access easement on an adjacent property will affect plans to develop my property?

It’s our standard operating procedure to review the property’s report of title and American Land Title Association (ALTA) survey. If we find that the recorded access easement located on the adjacent parcel doesn’t include specific maintenance covenants and agreements, we’ll recommend that an amendment be recorded to provide for the specific maintenance obligations and responsibilities for you, as the intended user.

Is a Reciprocal Easement Agreement appropriate for the development of my commercial real estate project?

If you are the owner and/or developer of a large property which you are planning to develop or if you will be developing your property adjacent to or in conjunction with the development of neighboring properties by other owners, you may need a Reciprocal Easement Agreement (“REA”) to assist with the coordination of the development process.  An REA can address such issues as: (i) granting easements among the different properties for common access, parking, installation and maintenance of utilities serving all properties and allowing development cooperation, (ii) continued maintenance of shared amenities such as access roads, entrance and community signage, stormwater management systems and community lighting, (iii) appropriate sharing of costs for maintenance amongst the different properties, including insurance, (iv) development, use restrictions and design guidelines that may be applicable throughout the community and upon certain parcels, and (v) interaction and liability of the different parties.  It is important to plan any large project early to capture all of the relevant issues the parties should address before it is too late and the pieces of the project are too far along.

As a real estate developer in Maryland, can I sell private water and sewer front foot benefit charges?

Any real estate developer creating private water and sewer front foot benefit charges has the choice of keeping the assessments and collecting them over the life of the charge established.  However, there is also the option to sell the right to collect the charges to a third party.  A number of companies exist that pursue the purchase of these front foot benefit charges from real estate developers and collect them for themselves as part of a larger portfolio of such charges.  Customarily, the purchaser will pay the developer a certain multiple of the annual charge for the right to collect the full amount over the full life of the assessment.  We are considered one of the preeminent firms involved with drafting and negotiating these types of purchase and sales agreements and assisting with the settlements on the purchases.

Can I create a land condominium to subdivide my property?

Owners of property that cannot be subdivided or subdivided only with great difficulty and expense should be aware that a land condominium may be an option. Land can generally be divided into “land” condominium units without the need for subdivision approval, in the same manner that a building can be divided into units. This exception to the subdivision process exists because the creation of a condominium is considered a change in owners, not a change in use.  The establishment of a land condominium is like a “private subdivision” of property.  A single record lot or parcel can be subjected to a condominium regime containing two or more land condominium units, which would be configured in the same manner as if the property had been subdivided. Shared components, such as roadways, stormwater management facilities, or amenities are designated as common elements, for the mutual benefit of all land condominium unit owners.  Our lawyers have decades of experience in creating land condominiums and dealing with any unique issues that should be addressed when creating the condominiums.

Can you help us with our consumer sales contracts for our sales of new homes?

Absolutely!  Our attorneys regularly draft new home sales contracts and addenda to contracts to include the necessary disclosures.  We are very familiar with the federal, state, and county regulatory and statutory disclosure requirements for the various jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, and those of the District of Columbia.